The best free agents available this summer and where they could go?

Published on 13 March 2024 at 18:13

It is the pinnacle point in the season, where a tide of rumours and speculation begin to surface surrounding the futures of potential free agents this summer. Clubs will be eagerly circling and beginning to formulate discussions with agents, testing the player's resolve and sweetening the deal with financial bribery. While a select few extend their deals with their current employer in a late U-turn such as Kylian Mbappe last season, many become free to the open market as they seek to join a bigger club, earn a higher wage or face a new challenge.


Luka Modric 

Real Madrid and Croatia

The midfielder is adored by Madridistas after his decorative twelve years at the Santiago Bernebeu, where he has won 25 trophies including three successive Champions League titles. The 38 year old silenced speculation last summer after signing a one year extension, but Carlo Ancelotti has been unable to give the 2018 Ballon D'Or winner the game time he wants and both the club and player appear to have agreed to part ways this summer.

It signals a new era for the Los Blancos with four veterans expected to departure in June, as they look to build around the future with stars such as Eduardo Camavinga, Jude Bellingham and Aurilen Tchouameni. Despite being the most senior figure at the club featuring 513 times for Madrid, it looks like the time has come.

The Croatian was linked with Saudi Arabia last year, and these proposal are anticipated to re-surface with Al Nassr, Al Hilal and Al Ahli all sure to fight for his signature. Another interesting plot, would be joining up with Lionel Messi and co in Miami in the MLS, but this would severe his loyalty to former club teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.


marco reus

Borussia Dortmund and Germany

In a career de-railed by injuries, Marco Reus looks set to end his long-lasting marriage to Borussia Dortmund after twelve years. The 34 year old has started just 14 games this season, featuring for just 1,203 minutes under Edin Terzic in the Bundesliga.

Once an indispensable attacking influence for the Die Schwarzgelben, the number 10 stepped down as club captain in July and has increasingly become a squad player for Dortmund who is seen as a barrier in the way of the young players development.

One of the key reasons Borussia Dortmund are in favour of allowing Reus to leave is his lack of versatility and poor injury record and it looks more likely that he will entertain options from Türkiye, MLS and Saudi Arabia in the summer.

A final round of talks will open in April to decide a verdict on his future, and he may end up staying at the club if it goes well but his head could be turned before then by another offer.



Raphael varane 

Manchester United and France

The centre-back's career has nose-dived at Old Trafford, going from one of the best defenders in the world who won everything at Real Madrid to a liability who is out of favour under Erik Ten Hag. In December the club made the decision to not activate the one year extension and turned down renewing his £344,000 a week salary as it became clear he would be free to enter negotiations with other clubs regarding his future this summer.

Al Nassr have prioritised signing the 30 year old and have earmarked him as the ideal partner for Aymeric Laporte, but Al Hilal are also interested. European clubs could enter the race, but the 2018 World Cup winner will have to considerably reduce his wages if he wants that to happen.

While, Manchester United remain eager of keeping Varane at the club they cannot financially justify his contract with him one of the highest earners at United and they want him to reduce his wages. The defender has struggled with injuries in his three seasons at United and his performance levels have not reflected the world-class stalwart they thought they were getting when they signed him in 2020.


toni kroos

Real Madrid and Germany

Similar to his midfield partner Luka Modric, the German was not seen in the bigger picture at Real Madrid at the start of the season. But, Kroos appears to have proven his importance as a cornerstone to Madrid's midfield as the season has gone on under Carlo Ancelotti, where his strategic prowess and experience might have convinced the club to offer him a new deal.

Either way, his potential exit would be huge this summer and allegedly the 34 year old gave Real Madrid's hierarchy an ultimatum this summer claiming he wants to finish his career in the Spanish capital or will retire from football.

The midfielder has provided seven assists this season and amid the club's stretched squad and injury concerns he is increasingly being recognised as an asset to the club who is showing lasting endurance and quality. He recently decided to end his international retirement for Germany to help them at Euro 2024 in June, and its clear he is doing everything to prove to Madrid that he is fit and raring for another season.

thiago alcantara

Liverpool and Spain

Thiago Alcantara was a flagship signing in September 2020 for Liverpool, but repeated injury setbacks has forced Klopp to build without him concealing him to becoming an after thought. The Spaniard has featured just five minutes this season, with many believing he had disappeared from the club and he looks set to leave this July as a rare failure under Klopp.

He oozes class and charisma and when he is fit he has provided Liverpool the creative flamboyance which is a gamechanger, but Liverpool fans have not been able to see his impact often enough. His absence has seen him removed from future plans with a complete midfield re-build signing Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Endo and Gravenberch this summer which has propelled Liverpool into a title race.

His lack of fitness this season might have retracted Barcelona's interest in the 32 year old, and most likely a move to Saudi Arabia or MLS will be on the cards although it seems probable he might take some time out from football.



Atletico Madrid and Spain

The one-club man could surprisingly depart his boyhood team this summer, after becoming Atletico Madrid's all-time appearance holder playing 632 matches. The 32 year old insisted his intent on remaining at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium further and that the decision was out of his hands and there has been no progress in talks.

Captain of the club since 2019, the significant hurdle in contract negotiations has been his wage. Koke currently earns a reported £265,000 at Atletico Madrid and so far the club has submitted offers which are considerably less deemed unsuitable by the Spanish midfielder.

However, it is increasingly unlikely that Koke will leave as he has said that he wants to end his career at Atletico and he is so highly regarded by his manager Diego Simeone. The latest is that the two parties are getting closer to a deal, but in the world of football anything can happen and the longer the deal stalls the more likely Koke could chose elsewhere.


kylian mbappe

Paris Saint Germain and France

After the dramatic saga of last season, Mbappe seems to have made his intent clear this season which is that he will be leaving PSG. This has fuelled speculation on his future destination with Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea all linked, but there can only be one club Real Madrid.

The Spanish giants submitted a £170m bid upfront for the 23 year old last January, but the striker ended up extending his deal however it looks like that decision has not worked with increasing animosity and a break down in relationships with the hierarchy at PSG.

Reportedly, Real Madrid have offered the Frenchman a contract for this summer which is worth £26m including a huge £130m signing on bonus and other lucrative incentives but nothing is confirmed yet. It will be a very entertaining spectacle as the summer nears and as the days pass Real Madrid will become increasingly nervous of yet another U-turn like last time... Surely not. 


other free agent summer 2024



Lewis Eadie

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